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Cell Tissue Kinet. 1990 May;23(3):141-59.

Multicell spheroids as a model for cell kinetic studies.

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Medical Biophysics Unit, B.C. Cancer Research Centre, Vancouver, Canada.


Cells growing in tissue culture as three-dimensional, multicellular aggregates called 'spheroids' typically show a decreasing growth fraction and development of quiescent subpopulations as the spheroids enlarge. Kinetic studies in a number of spheroid systems have indicated that the primary reason for the tumour-like growth is a progressive decrease in growth fraction, with only a modest elongation of cell cycle time in larger spheroids. In this paper, the cellular growth kinetics for spheroids of V79 Chinese hamster lung cells are reviewed, and the regrowth kinetics of cells resuming growth after recovery from quiescent regions of the spheroids are described. Further, the role of regrowth/repopulation in determining the spheroid response to anti-tumour cytotoxics is explored, with particular emphasis on treatment with cisplatin and etoposide. By separating the effects of cytotoxicity and regrowth in the overall spheroid response to anti-neoplastic drugs, it is suggested that 'drug resistance' in tumours can be a kinetic as well as a genetic problem.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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